1) Whatever you do, try to avoid the current flu bug that’s going around. I’m now into day 4 of absolute misery with no end in the sight. Chills, sweats, swallowing razor blades are all features of the current bug.
2) The Minnesota Wild lost again Saturday afternoon. They outshot the Nashville Predators 37-27. It’s their 4th straight loss and comes after games in which they outshot Chicago 44-20 and outshot San Jose 31-26. The Wild are outshooting the opposition by an average of 5 shots/game and yet they are 12th in the WC and sinking like a rock. No surprise what’s going on there…goaltending has been dreadful…Kuemper .902…Backstrom .893…Curry .826
3) There’s a little ray of sunshine in Oilerland after the Oilers beat the Blackhawks But let’s remember the Oilers have 2 wins and 3 losses in the their last 5 games and then…there is this.
Jonathan Willis @JonathanWillis · 1h 1 hour ago
#Oilers 5v5 SH% and SV%:
– 2014-15 Eakins: 6.5%, 0.902
– 2013-14 Eakins: 7.7%, 0.913
– 2014-15 Nelson: 12.6%, 0.951
Jonathan Willis @JonathanWillis · 2h 2 hours ago
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked Todd Nelson as a coach, but he didn’t just double the effectiveness of #Oilers shooters and goalies.
4) Interesting trade between the Flames and Panthers this week as the teams swapped centres with Drew Shore going to Calgary and Corban Knight going to to Florida. Shore, who seems to be NHL ready, was blocked in Florida but Calgary is absolutely loaded at C as well with Backlund, Stajan, Monohan, Colborne, Jooris, Byron, Bouma, Reinhart and, of course, Sam Bennett. Gotta think there is another move coming.
5) I see Ryan Nugent Hopkins has been chosen as the Oilers representative at the All Star game. So, we’ll have to endure the fanboys touting his all star credentials for a few years. Important to note that Hopkins is currently 43rd in scoring among centres and not only is that NOT all-star rated by performance but it is also not what you would expect from any 1st line centre. Hopkins is nothing more or nothing less than a very good 2nd line centre.
6) The Vancouver Canucks remain a riddle. For a while they are among the highest scoring teams in the league but everyone on the team has gone stone cold and they are in danger of dropping out of a playoff spot. The surprising Jets, the Flames and the Kings are right on their heels although the Canucks have multiple games in hand.
7) It appears the Colorado Avalanche are don’t yet. After winning 7 of their last 10 games, they are surging toward the playoffs and are now only 4 points out. The WC playoff race is going to be barn burner.
8) As I predicted weeks ago, the Florida Panthers are methodically making their way up the EC standing…now only 3 points behind Boston but with 4 games in hand.
9) Checking the scoring race…I see Tyler Seguin has cooled off over the past few games and is now tied with Rick Nash for the goalscoring lead with 26 and is 2 points behind Jakub Voracek for the overall points lead. Two other players to keep an eye on are Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane who have both been very hot lately.
10) It appears the Buffalo Sabres are reverting to form and will likely occupy the 30th overall spot in the league in the very near future and both Edmonton and Carolina are still very much in the running while Arizona also looks like they’re going to tank. I still expect the league will be “managing” this draft very carefully to ensure that Connor McDavid doesn’t end up on a team that will fritter away such a valuable league asset.